By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
At one time, Baltimore native Andrea Scott was paying a small fortune for mainstream companies to manage her tax preparation. Now, she is a tax and finance expert who owns Brownstone Tax and Financial Services, which provides more affordable options for tax preparation, bankruptcy document preparation, life insurance and financial planning.
“I want everybody to be able to function from point A to point Z, so they can get from the stage of understanding finances, budgeting and their tax situation to the stage of home ownership or even entrepreneurship,” said Scott.
When she was a single mom in her 20s, Scott depended on H&R Block to prepare her tax return. Scott thought the company’s fee was unreasonable. After being charged hundreds of dollars, she took it upon herself to learn how to do taxes.
After securing a proficient understanding of tax law and the preparation process, Scott began helping her friends and family with their taxes. Soon, she expanded her expertise to insurance and financial advising.
In 2007, Scott established Brownstone LLC, now known as Brownstone Tax and Financial Services. For years, she ran the agency while also maintaining a full-time job with the State of Maryland. It was not until 2018 that Brownstone Tax and Financial Services became her sole career.
“I have a whole team of different people that I work with because a lot of people in African-American communities don’t have access to these services or don’t realize that they’re there,” said Scott.
Scott’s team comprises credit specialists, real estate agents, bankers and tax professionals, and they help clients better manage their money and debt, buy life and auto insurance, file income taxes, settle IRS debt and file bankruptcy forms.
“One legacy I want to leave for my community is making sure that they are prepared for financial stability,” said Scott. “We don’t have a lot of money, and a lot of times people don’t make a lot, but there are ways we can manage it.”
As a part of her commitment to supporting entrepreneurs, Scott also opened an insurance school in recent years at Brownstone Tax and Financial Services. It is one of five institutions in Maryland that offers hybrid and in-person courses for life and health, property and casualty insurance prelicensing.
Outside of running her company, Scott and her sister lead the Green Dollar Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing middle and high school students with financial literacy. They host seminars to help youth learn how to read their W-2s, understand paycheck deductions and prepare for a secure financial future.
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